6.8/10
523
10 user 13 critic

Paper Mask (1990)

A lowly hospital orderly impersonates a recently deceased doctor and goes to work in the busy ER of a small hospital where he meets and befriends a nurse who slowly figures out his secret and helps him maintain his charade.

Writers:

John Collee (novel), John Collee (screenplay)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Paul McGann ... Matthew Harris
Amanda Donohoe ... Christine Taylor
Frederick Treves ... Dr. Mumford
Tom Wilkinson ... Dr. Thorn
Barbara Leigh-Hunt ... Celia Mumford
Jimmy Yuill ... Alec Moran
Mark Lewis Jones ... Dr. Lloyd
John Warnaby John Warnaby ... Dr. Hammond
Alexandra Mathie Alexandra Mathie ... Beverley
Oliver Ford Davies ... Coroner
Frank Baker Frank Baker ... Happy
Clive Rowe ... Ants
Robert Oates Robert Oates ... Head Porter
Karen Ascoe ... Alison
Dale Rapley Dale Rapley ... Dr. Simon Hennessey
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Storyline

With the papers of a young doctor who died in a deadly accident, the ambitious male nurse Matthew manages to get hired as a doctor in the casuality department of an hospital in Bristol. Nurse Christine believes it's only his nervousness, which makes him "forget" the most basic procedures. But even her help cannot prevent that his lack of qualification soon has deadly consequences... Written by Tom Zoerner <Tom.Zoerner@informatik.uni-erlangen.de>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

They would do anything to keep playing the game. See more »

Genres:

Drama | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some sensuality and language | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

15 November 1991 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A papírmaszk See more »

Filming Locations:

Bristol, England, UK See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

John Collee wrote the screenplay based on his own 1987 novel "A Paper Mask." See more »

Quotes

Dr. Thorn: [testing Matthew's ability to diagnose an elderly male patient lying in hospital bed] Feel his pulse.
Matthew Harris: [hung-over and very nervous] It's irregular.
Dr. Thorn: So?
Matthew Harris: Atrial fibrillation.
Dr. Thorn: Listen to his chest.
Matthew Harris: [placing stethoscope on patient's back] Please sit forward. Breathe in please. And out. And in, and out, and in, and out.
[to Dr. Thorn]
Matthew Harris: Basal crepitations.
Dr. Thorn: Feel his liver. Well?
Matthew Harris: It's normal.
[...]
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Connections

References Easy Rider (1969) See more »

Soundtracks

Oh! Susanna
(uncredited)
Written by Stephen Foster
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User Reviews

 
Excellent medical thriller!
24 December 2006 | by zjerunkSee all my reviews

The attraction of the story is that it is entirely within the realm of possibility, and all the more so in view of the seemingly increasing incidence of medical impropriety these days. Hitchcock like in its use of the inevitable as an instrument of suspense, this gem will keep you glued to your seat to the end.

If Robin Cook or Michael Creighton had written this, their names alone would have made this a blockbuster.

The only shortcoming of this film is that the people responsible for promoting it at its first release evidently didn't have a clue. This is yet another example of the abysmal ignorance of marketing on the part of the British film industry. Evidently the owners of the property don't like making money. The only thing this film lacked was a marketing budget and someone to market it.

This is a film that should be released on DVD as a 20th anniversary edition or some such thing, and properly promoted. The owners are sitting on a valuable asset.

In the mean time, if you spot a VHS copy, snag it for your collection. You'll be glad you did.


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